Audax Australia
This is the umbrella organisation running long distance cycling events in Australia Their website includes a calendar of events.

A place where cyclist can keep track of their mileage and any number of other statistics, as well as an attached forum.

A set of discussion forums covering almost every conceivable cycling related topic.

Cycling Adventurer
The Cycling Adventurer has tossed in the structured life of an urbanite to explore the world by bicycle. A well-written site detailing how he came to cycling, and what he learned along the way.

Crazy Guy on a Bike

Bicycle touring journals from all over the world, including a couple of my own.

Johns Cycles

This is my LBS on the Gold Coast. While they cater more to the racing market, their service, advice and workmanship is the best on the coast.

St Kilda Cycles

Importers of all manner of things hard to find in Australia, including the legendary Schmidt hub dynamo & E6 lights.


Wonderings and wanderings out and about in Portland, Oregon, US

The Journey
The journey begins in Perth, Western Australia.

Lance Notstrong
The "other" Lance!

Ms Mittens
The Wired Cat on-line

Iron Gambit

Aussie Writer and Cycletourist
A blog chronicling the writing and cycling of a seaside baby boomer.

Up in Alaska
Jill's subarctic journal about ice, bears and distant dreams of the midnight sun.

The Kin Chronicles
Taking mediocrity to a new level of ordinary.

Riding and running with a vengeance.

London Cycling Diary
Pedalling across the capital since August 2005.

CouchPilot-2-BikePilot (Zin's cycling blog)
Living an adventurous life with Type-2-Diabetes.

The adventures of Crazy Biker Chick
... Including cycling, adventuring, cooking, knitting and ranting.

Redneck Espanol
The two wheeled Spanish redneck.

Treadly and me
"Work is something I do between riding my bicycle".

Womanist philosophy and theology. Cycling, climbing, art, single-motherhood and fire-twirling.

Adrian Fitch's random rambling.
A bit about cycling, a bit about genealogy, a bit about radio but mostly a lot about nothing at all.

Geo's big adventure
The life and times of Geo.

It's about the bike
Musings on the cycling life.

Various cycling tidbits.

Industry Outsider
A blog about bikes and stuff.

Tweed Coast Treadly
An old man's bicycle riding diary.

A cyclist's life in Tenerife
(Canary Islands).

Bike to work to live to bike
It's never too late to get back on the bike

Stupid Hurts
Just the random scribblings of a guy with a bicycle

I'm not drunk enough for this
Really, I'm not.

What can I say? Just read it.

Mozam's cycling adventures
A random collection of the things I like to do most, and mostly that is to ride my bikes, bicycles that is... My musings from competitive riding, long distance endurance to puttering around the neighborhood..

More cycling blogs

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I've been shouting this to everyone at, but I suppose it's time to make it official here. Yes, I'm back on the bike after the crash -- well, I have been (sort of) since Friday. I haven't done any noteworthy climbs yet, but I'm sure those will come eventually. Actually, the original plan had been a week to recover from the crash, but with public transport on the Gold Coast being the farce* that it is, it was either that or start walking. One could argue that I had started walking already -- attempting to catch a bus to work on Thursday (a 14km round trip) led to me walking 7km. The back problems seem to be healing rather well, so I guess I'm glad I crashed while I was still young enough to bounce. Hopefully I can learn something from this one so that it won't be a problem in future.

In other news, I see a bike shop has finally decided to use the fuel prices hysteria as a way to go about selling more bikes (save $$$ on fuel). It's Burkes Bikes in Currumbin (no, I don't have a link), but I'm not really a regular customer largely due to the reputation of the mechanical work. Still, it might be interesting to see just how many bikes they sell that way, and whether any of them are still being ridden in three months' time.

Finally, I see from the bike-qld list that the
courier mail is having another whine, this time about bike lanes supposedly being too wide. Apparently they figure that painting a white stripe a little to the left is somehow going to save ratepayers' money. I'm not entirely sure how they work that one out, but then I'm only an accountant and consequently my knowledge of finance is never going to match that of a journalistic troll. Oh f*ck it, give them what they want. Narrow the lanes down to 1.5 metres everywhere (or whatever width will make it impossible to park cars in them), and do it to every bike lane in the entire state. Then sit back and watch them whine about the lack of car parking.

Bad day at work?

So how was work for you today? Did you get a little frustrated? Either with your coworkers or your boss? Admit it, we've all had times when people at work have annoyed us to the point where we wish we had an effective means of putting a stop to it once and for all. Well, now you have the opportunity to live out those fantasies (virtually anyway) with a simple game of pink slip panic (obligatory warning about naughty words in that URL).

You're the CEO of, and the object of the entire game is to lay off enough employees to save your company before the share price hits rock bottom. It's also a great way to relieve some of those work-related frustrations that we all experience from time to time. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Alright, so some of the sound equipment made it difficult for me to get a shot of the whole band. It was still an awesome night. Anyone who doubts the status of Oasis as one of the greatest rock bands of all time clearly hasn't seen one of their live shows. Many claim that the mark of a good live band is whether they can sound as good live as they do in their recordings. I think Oasis actually sounded better playing live -- and there were other observers who concurred.

Then there are the songs, and over the years Oasis have written some great ones. I had actually forgotten what a great song Live Forever was, not to mention Wonderwall, champagne Supernova, Morning Glory or more recent offerings like Guess God Thinks I'm Abel, Songbird and Turn up the Sun. Of course, nobody would forget the crowd's reaction when Noel led the band through Don't Look Back in Anger (which Noel dedicated to "your shit cricket team"), arguably their finest moment.

About the only possible complaint anyone could have might be the songs they didn't play (I would have liked to have heard them do Stand by Me). That said, I can't think of any songs I would have omitted from the set list as it was, and I suppose a concert can only last for so long. The other notable quality about the concert was the fact that the band didn't waste any time. Once they started, Oasis went full tilt for the next 100 minutes or so. There were no long pauses punctuated by pointless "banter" with the crowd (apart from the occasional wisecrack), there were no frilly bits, just great music -- much like the band itself.

I'm not sure when Oasis will be touring next, but I think I'll make an effort to be there.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Familiarity and contempt

So as I recover from yet another crash close to home on yet another road that I had previously ridden hundreds (possibly thousands) of times over without a problem previously, I am left to ponder on just why I seem to have so many problems on what is very much my own territory. It would seem that I am not the only one -- indeed one of my co-workers once quoted statistics suggesting that 75% of all car "accidents" happen within 5 miles of home.

So why is this? Why do people have problems in situations that should be familiar to them? It was as recently as September that I negotiated the notorious Peacock Creek Road between Bonalbo and Kyogle in NSW. Indeed, I did so relatively comfortably, even hauling the full touring load on the back of the bike. Why should I then fall on a relatively flat, smooth and familiar road? Forget the debris, I was dodging much bigger rocks on Urliup Road 10 days ago, so why is this suddenly a problem? The answer would seem to be one of concentration.

Peacock Creek road has a fearsome reputation -- and one that I was reminded of just before leaving Bonalbo. Armed with this knowledge, I was able to maintain the appropriate level of focus required for such an assignment. On the other hand, Cheltenham Drive at Robina is just another suburban arterial. The fact that it also happens to be a relatively new one probably indicates it has other safety aspects considered within it's design (for whatever good they actually do). While consciously I was aware of the need to concentrate, subconsciously I had the thought that I had done this so many times I really should be able to do it blindfolded.

The problem is, of course, that I can't do it blindfolded. While we may make this joke about areas with which we are familiar, I'm sure that if we were invited to ride our "familiar" roads blindfolded, we would refuse. So why do we allow ourselves to be "blinded" by false confidence? Even if only on a subconscious level? More importantly, what can be done about it?

The more crashes I have, the more I am of the opinion that maybe there is some good that comes from it. While the school of hard knocks can be a painful place at times, the lessons learned there are not ones that are easily forgotten. The pain of reopening an old scar, the combination of frustration and humiliation that comes from hitting the ground, the pain in my back muscles over the last couple of days -- these are all things that will stay in my mind for at least a little while. Now it's up to me to take advantage of this, to learn from this situation and consequently become a safer cyclist in the future.

In this case, the lesson is simply to treat the familiar roads with respect. The lesson is that the mere fact I've "done this a thousand times" is no guarantee that I'm going to make it to 1,001. The lesson is to WAKE UP! The other lesson, of course, is not to ride through construction sites on rainy nights, but I probably should have known that anyway. Familiarity, it seems, breeds contempt. It's clear (at least from my experience) that this contempt is the single biggest threat to our own personal safety not only in cycling, but in all other aspects of life. Perhaps crashing occasionally is one way of dealing with it, perhaps losing some skin now might save us from bigger problems later on, after all.

That said, I really have no plans to do it again next week.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

And the doctor said...

The verdict is that there was no serious damage done from last night's crash. Just some soft tissue bruising (quite extensive actually), and it just requires me to rest for a while, so no riding until next week. I guess I'm still young enough to bounce well. Hopefully I'm not so young that it prevents me from learning from this in order to prevent it from happening again. Crashing at high speed *really* hurts! Of course, I still need to do a thorough check of the bike, but I don't think there are any problems at all there.

So I was faced with a day of doing nothing. I guess it made a nice change, but it's not a habit I want to fall into. Actually, it's quite surprising just how easily that particular habit takes over once a few idle minutes have been expended. Idleness is not something I am keen to flirt with.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


... But hopefully not out. I have been insanely chasing a century of climbing over recent months, and I was really thinking it could happen. Last Sunday I took on my great nemesis (i.e. the heat) and beat it. I was also closing in on 30 centuries for the year (Sunday was number 29). So it is perhaps a little ironic that I should head out for a ride this evening, with the heat not only beaten, but now firmly in retreat. A southerly wind was blowing and it was raining lightly. I was heading for my usual Tuesday evening ride out to the glow worms. About 8.5km in I had warmed up nicely and was starting to find form. In the space of a few seconds, it all unravelled.

There's a new road they're building out at Robina -- well, it's actually a duplication of Cheltenham Drive. Not open to traffic yet, but I normally cut through there anyway. Somehow I didn't see that bit of debris that went under my wheel (I still haven't seen it -- even though I got up and had a look for it). Can someone tell me why that split second when you're trying in vain to retrieve an off-balance bike seems to take forever? I tried to make the save, but failed and went down hard.

My shoulder took a nasty hit, my back is sore when I try to bend over, and I've re-opened an old scar on my left forearm. I had a headache immediately after the crash, but it seems to be clearing up pretty well now. All of this probably justifies a visit to a doctor tomorrow morning, however. I actually felt really down after all this, I even had some doubting thoughs about February's New Zealand trip. Instead I ran a warm bath when I got home, and listened to Sarah Blasko on the CD player -- I feel much better now (even if I'm still a little sore).

I've no idea how long I'll be off the bike. I've never had a back injury before, so I'll tread carefully here. I just hope I get some good news, the midnight century's only a few weeks away -- and I still want to get that last 9,000 metres of climbing to finish this thing off. It's also looking like another great streak will come to an end. This will be the first calendar month since February 2003 in which I have failed to ride 1,000 miles or 1,610km. The pitiful 22km for today won't quite get me there.

On the other hand, I did at least manage to get those tickets for the sold out Oasis concert, so I have something else to do this weekend.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

It's hot!

I'm sitting here typing this in a pool of sweat on another disgustingly humid night. Last night was similar -- I don't think it feel below 25 degrees C all night. Well, there was nothing for it but to head up to the mountains today. It's been a while since I visited Green Mountains/O'Reilly's. The first thing I had to do was negotiate a road block at the base of the climb.

This involves a long gradual climb up the mountain, taking about 13km to gain 500 metres. The road was built in the 1930's and some of the old road cuttings are still visible today. After cresting Mt Cainbable, the road winds around the mountains delightfully, before the final climb to the summit.

I decided to do the Treetops walk once I got to Lamington National Park, largely because I haven't done it before. It's basically a circuit on a suspension bridge positioned at a higher level in the rainforest canopy than simply walking along the ground. It offered some pleasant views through the forest, but it was too dense for any mountain views to be visible here.

Then for some reason I decided to ride back in the middle of the day. Big mistake. I could feel the heat rising up out of the valley on the descent. By the time I reached the town of Canungra, it was 36 degrees C. It would stay there for a long time. It's a shadeless 9% climb to get out of that place, followed by a shadeless 10-12% grade a little further down the road. In fact, I handled them surprisingly well (surprising given my general hatred of temperatures above 12 degrees). I had been anticipating that the temperature might drop a little as I got closer to the coast, but it just wasn't happening. It even increased to 37 at Maudsland.

In a grim kind of way, I began to enjoy it. It's that unique feeling that comes when conditions get harder, when it eventually reaches a special point that you start willing it on, wanting to test the limits of your own capabilities. At one point I was checking my thermometer, and hoping it might hit 40. That said, the humidity was relatively low by now, which generally makes the heat a lot more bearable. I made one mistake of thinking I'd gladly have the magpie season back if I could get rid of the heat. No prizes for guessing what dropped out of the next tree. This was actually a problem, my usual tactic of simply squirting magpies with water would waste a valuable resource.

As it was, I was running short by this time. I eventually decided to use that $5 that I generally carry around with me and buy a couple of drinks. That gave me enough to reach the coast -- finally things started to cool down here on the back of an impending storm. Unfortunately, the storm didn't arrive, but it did block out the sunlight for a while.

Perhaps stupidly, I actually passed through Surfers Paradise in the middle of schoolies' week on the way home. Not surprisingly, there weren't too many intelligent conversations going on around me. Fortunately, there was a bit of Sunday Afternoon gridlock going on. It gave me the boost I needed, I was really in form picking my way through that. At the southern end of Surfers, I heard a voice call out "you're only human". The form I had through that patch of gridlock, I was in serious danger of forgetting that. In anycase, I was glad to finally make a statement against the heat. I'm sure it will be back soon, however.

Right now I'm about to see if I can score some belated tickets to the Oasis show in Brisbane, the one that they told me was sold out three months ago.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Return to the valley

For some reason it's been quite a while since I rode out through Currumbin Valley. Today I decided to do something about it. It was a reasonably pleasant morning, and once I escaped suburbia the rolling hills surrounding were about as green as one could possibly expect at this time of year. I was, however, slightly surprised at just how little water was coming over Cougal's Cascades at the western end of the valley. I'm hoping more rain falls before I visit Minyon Falls in the near future.

I also paid particular attention to slaughtering the climb up the ridge on Piggabeen Road. I could pay for it tomorrow, but sometimes one just has to make a statement. It was at the top of this ridge that I got an idea just how big the so-called "eco-village" being built at the eastern entrance to the valley is going to be. According to the "for sale" signs, it's going to stretch right up the northern side of the ridge. I suppose it promises to be a lesser evil than the stupidly ugly subdivisions they keep building in the Nerang and Robina areas if one actually believes the advertising. On the other hand, I'd prefer it wasn't built in an area where it might obscure the sweeping views from Piggabeen.

There also seemed to be a lot of idiots on the road this morning. One particular moron on the way home sped out of a bottleshop way too fast when I was passing, I think he actually accelerated when he saw me in a deliberate attempt to cause a crash (it wouldn't be the first time). I saw this particular moron late, but found enough of a sprint to get away from it. I can only hope this idiot wipes himself out of the human gene pool without taking anyone else with him. and yahoo dating sued for fraud

This will probably come as no surprise to anyone who has ever used a dating website, except for the fact that someone actually found out about it. has been accused of sending bogus emails to clients and using their own staff to attend some dates - the practice known as "date bait".

A lawsuit recently filed in Los Angeles claims that's staff have turned up for dates with clients in order to keep them interested when no one else seems to be interested in them.

A separate lawsuit filed in San Jose accuses the online dating service of internet giant Yahoo of breach of contract, fraud and unfair trade practices.

It has been brought by a Florida man who accuses the company of posting profiles of fictitious potential clients on its website to give the impression, he says, that it has more single people on its books than is really the case."

Between this and the other issues relating to the dating scene on the Gold Coast, and indeed pretty much everywhere else too, it's probably just as well that I don't mind being single.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


The above shot may look familiar to you, it's the Q1 in Surfers Paradise being struck by lightning in a storm a few weeks back. I'm re-posting it in celebration of the fact a sponsor somewhere has decided that in spite (or perhaps because) of the building being struck eight times in that storm, it's still worth putting up a prize of $10,000 for a foot race to the top level. I'm thinking of trying to negotiate a special dispensation allowing me to compete on two wheels rather than two legs (maybe if I only took $5,000 upon winning?). Given that I'm approaching 150km of climbing for the year, I don't see how 80 storeys is going to slow me down that much.

Meanwhile, in Melbourne today,
another race proved what those of us who regularly ride in urban traffic already knew (apart from providing some insight into what Red Symons is doing these days). My only question is just how many cars a cyclists is allowed to pass in traffic before they are legally compelled to call out "Suckers!" in the most arrogant voice they can muster. I'd say I must be getting pretty close to that milestone with all those commutes on Bundall Road.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

We are going to the world cup!

It's taken 32 years, but Australia have finally qualified for the world cup. I'm also running a little short on fingernails after the tie went to penalties, despite Australia totally playing Uruguay of the park throughout the second half, but being unable to finish it off. The substitution made by Guus Hiddink in the first half, bringing on Harry Kewell after 30 minutes was pure genius, and the final save from Mark Schwarzer in the shoot-out was almost Schmeichel-like. I have to say that I can't ever recall seeing an Australian team dominate opposition of that level to such an extent before.

It's actually quite amazing considering that three or four months ago, nobody would have given that team a hope, but some changes were made at the top, and now some of the potential is being realised. I also think we might surprise a few people in Germany next year. There's been a lot of talk in the past about Australia having to deal with a supposedly "unfair" qualifying route, having to play against a South American side even after winning the Oceania qualifiers. However, it didn't seem to be an object for this particular team. That said, they need to work on that final ball into the penalty area, and their set pieces, because a lot of opportunities were squandered. On the balance of the play, we should have wrapped this one up without the need for extra-time or penalties.

Either way, the long wait (one which stretches back before I was born) is finally over! Ra!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What did I miss?

It was interesting to note the number of cars suddenly parked at the dead end at the far end of Tallebudgera Creek road, waaaay out in the western side of the valley on Sunday night. This is actually highly unusual, as normally there is nobody parked out there day or night. I couldn't hear any signs of a party going on, so I'm assuming it wasn't this that drew all those people out there. There is no "town hall" out there, so I'm assuming it wasn't a public meeting of some kind (in anycase, those things are seldom that well attended).

I probably wouldn't have worried about it, except that I actually had the chance to ask someone about it, but didn't do so. Since then it's been a minor irritation that I didn't find out. In all likelihood, it was probably something of no interest to me, but that doesn't seem to stop the curiosity. Isn't it strange that we always seem to assume something we missed was sufficiently interesting to justify our curiosity (at least on a sub-conscious level), when there really is no reason to suggest this was the case.


There's something that I just haven't got around to mentioning in the last six weeks or so. My "new" ride to work passes a brothel. No, this is not an attempt at humour or sleaze, it just does. It's interesting to note that it always seems to be the same few cars parked outside. I'll leave the reader to decide what that might mean. Interestingly, I haven't been at all tempted by it, which probably says something about my cynicism more so than anything else. Or perhaps I'm just cheap.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


This post commemorates my 20,000th km cycled this year. Actually, I recorded the milestone on Friday when running an errand to pick up some components for the bike, but I decided I wanted to celebrate the milestone with a more interesting ride. It was with this in mind that yesterday I set off toward the south, through Hogan's Rainforest, Murwillumbah, Burringbar and so on, onto Mullumbimby. After this it was the climb past the Crystal Castle, it was into the magical forests...

... the wildflowers

... and the sweeping mountain views...

The other notable feature of Northern NSW is the number of rivers and creeks that are encountered along the way.

Even the ocean on the final stretch was looking particularly enticing.

This is actually quite a gruelling ride, there were over 3,000 metres of climbing, most of it coming between Mullumbimby and Nimbin. It was made harder by the fact that the wind blew from the south early, before switching around to the north in the afternoon (i.e. a headwind both ways) . After 258km or so, that can be quite draining, and I ended up pedalling the last few km at 22km/h. That said, it won't stop me riding this evening. Actually, I seem to be having quite a few rides with less than favourable wind conditions at the moment. I'll just have to consider it training for New Zealand.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I wasn't going to mention this, but, dagnabbit...

While gathering the ingredients to cook up a HUGE serving of spaghetti bolognese last Saturday at the supermarket, I noticed that people are now trying to sell "low-carb" spaghetti. Does anyone get the feeling this whole "Carbs are evil" obsession is reaching new levels of stupidity? Ladies and gentlemen, what is spaghetti (indeed, what is any form of pasta) without carbs? I really hope this fad doesn't catch on in restaurants -- can you imagine pedalling over three mountain passes in Tasmania, hauling a full touring load, finally finding somewhere you could get pasta, and only being able to obtain the low-carb variety? Granted, that's an extreme scenario, but I just can't imagine pasta without carbs.

It's bad enough to read all the "I tried the new (insert name of "doctor" here) diet which recommended reducing my intake of carbs and lost 20kg in five weeks but felt lethargic" posts on various cycling forums (and I'm sure plenty of other forums too). It's bad enough to sift through all the abusive posts these people direct at anyone who has the audacity to suggest that the diet may be responsible for their lethargy, but now* it's going even further.

When are people going to realise that the "eat no calories, burn no calories" method of losing weight is not something that is going to benefit their health? It's nothing more than a glorified method of starving one's self, which, in the long run, will only serve to cause one's metabolism to slow, probably meaning that when their health requires them to return to a normal diet, they will probably put on any kilos they lost, with a few reinforcements. The proper way to go about losing weight is to eat a balanced diet, and actually do a bit of exercise. Then it might actually deliver a benefit to one's health.

I've said for some time that the "low carb" diets will go the same way as the "no salt" diets of the '80s, or the "no fat" diets of the '90s. Sadly, in this age of demanding instant gratification for the least amount of effort with no consideration of any long term implications, it seems to be taking longer than expected. I guess if people really want to believe something works, no amount of proof (anecdotal or otherwise) is going to change their mind.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Summer rain II

As we are all aware, there is nothing in the world more beautiful than summer rain -- or is there? How about combining summer rain, a rainforest, glow worms, fire flies, a bubbling stream and a really dark night?

How about me confessing that I just spent some time doing some seriously stupid victory salutes, not because of any amazing cycling feats, but purely because I just had the good fortune to experience all of the above first hand?

The really good part is that I heard a long range weather forecast suggesting we might be in for our first decent wet season in five years -- meaning there could be more of this in coming months.

In other good news, I've finally confirmed February 11 as the start date for the big NZ ride.
Does this site have an emoticon for :smug:? If not, I guess I'll just have to use...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Summer Rain

Incredibly, today was the first genuinely wet imperial century ride I've had for quite some time. There are absolutely no complaints from me on that score, however, as the early humidity (i.e. just before the rain started) was almost totally unbearable. Of course, apart from improving the conditions, rain has other advantages, particularly in relation to some of the shapes the clouds can produce when there are a few mountains around.

I also took the time to explore a couple of side roads that had been tempting me for quite a while (I needed the kilometres to make this into an imperial century). Firstly it was Pocket Road in the Numinbah State Forest. A pleasant enough ride through pleasant forest, before petering out into farmland on a gravel finish. I also discovered a very nice but utterly useless spot for stealth camping.

The second was more interesting. Incredibly, I've already forgotten the name of this road, but it's somewhere on the NSW side of the descent of the Numinbah Gap pass. This one's dirt from the outset, and winds through the forest before coming out to some open country. There are some great mountain views to be had here, and a waterfall that may well be a permanent one (although it's only visible from a distance). I think I'll take this detour more often.

And who can forget the final downpour between Hogan's Rainforest and Bilambil, the one that made cleaning my bike a lot easier than it otherwise would have been had it remained covered in mud. At present all is good.

The project for this week is to dot the i's and cross the t's on February's New Zealand trip.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The fly

What is crawling on my tyre?

Isn't it remarkable how some of the smallest things in life can restore a sense of perspective to a temporarily irrational mind? For some reason I took yesterday badly (as evidenced by the post below). I really don't know why I took it so badly -- often I've consoled friends who have failed exams by pointing out that one exam is not going to ruin a life. However, I wasn't thinking that way yesterday -- nor early this morning it seemed.

I knew I needed to get on the bike in order to get over this, but this morning I woke up feeling lethargic. It was almost like I didn't care. Eventually I forced myself to get out there, heading for Tallebudgera Valley. As usual, it was a beautiful ride once I got away from the urban sprawl of the coast.

It was only after getting back to one of my special places by the banks of the creek well away from civilisation that I started to restore some perspective to my mind.

Yet it was only when I walked back to my bike for the ride home that I noticed that little green fly sitting on my wheel. Strangely, I've never noticed this creature before. As far as I was aware, flies only came in one colour -- black (apart from the glow worms at Austinville of course). It was at that moment that I realised that this indeed wasn't the end of the world by a long shot. Heck, my problems are minute compared to what some others are suffering at the moment. I have been reminded once again that in pursuit of our goals and ambitions, we shouldn't lose sight of the little things that make the world such a special place.

As far as the journey goes, I will get there eventually. In this case, it might just take a little longer than I had anticipated. So who would have expected such insights to come from a fly?

Exam fun

After yesterday, I've been thinking of ways I could have gone out in a blaze of glory in that CPA exam. Thanks to some research, I've come up with a few...

  1. Bring a pillow. Fall asleep (or pretend to) until the last 15 minutes. Wake up, say "oh geez, better get cracking" and do some gibberish work. Turn it in a few minutes early.
  2. Get a copy of the exam, run out screaming "Andre, Andre, I've got the secret documents!!"
  3. If it is a math/science exam, answer in essay form. If it is long answer/essay form, answer with numbers and symbols. Be creative. Use the integral symbol.
  4. Make paper airplanes out of the exam. Aim them at the instructor's left nostril.
  5. Talk the entire way through the exam. Read questions aloud, debate your answers with yourself out loud. If asked to stop, yell out, "I'm SOOO sure you can hear me thinking." Then start talking about what a jerk the instructor is.
  6. Bring cheerleaders.
  7. Walk in, get the exam, sit down. About five minutes into it, loudly say to the instructor, "I don't understand ANY of this. I've been to every lecture all semester long! What's the deal? And who the hell are you? Where's the regular guy?"
  8. Bring a Game Boy (or Game Gear, etc...). Play with the volume at max level.
  9. On the answer sheet (book, whatever) find a new, interesting way to refuse to answer every question. For example: I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it conflicts with my religious beliefs. Be creative.
  10. Bring pets.
  11. Run into the exam room looking about frantically. Breathe a sigh of relief. Go to the instructor, say "They've found me, I have to leave the country" and run off.
  12. Fifteen minutes into the exam, stand up, rip up all the papers into very small pieces, throw them into the air and yell out "Merry Christmas." If you're really daring, ask for another copy of the exam. Say you lost the first one. Repeat this process every fifteen minutes.
  13. Do the exam with crayons, paint, or fluorescent markers.
  14. Come into the exam wearing a pair of birkenstocks, and nothing else.
  15. Come down with a BAD case of Tourette's Syndrome during the exam. Be as vulgar as possible.
  16. Do the entire exam in another language. If you don't know one, make one up! For math/science exams, try using Roman numerals.
  17. Bring things to throw at the instructor when s/he's not looking. Blame it on the person nearest to you.
  18. As soon as the instructor hands you the exam, eat it.
  19. Walk into the exam with an entourage. Claim you are going to be taping your next video during the exam. Try to get the instructor to let them stay, be persuasive. Tell the instructor to expect a percentage of the profits if they are allowed to stay.
  20. Every five minutes, stand up, collect all your things, move to another seat, continue with the exam.
  21. Turn in the exam approximately 30 minutes into it. As you walk out, start commenting on how easy it was.
  22. Do the entire exam as if it was multiple choice and true/false. If it is a multiple choice exam, spell outinteresting things (DCCAB, BABE, etc..).
  23. Bring a black marker. Return the exam with all questions and answers completely blacked out.
  24. Get the exam. Twenty minutes into it, throw your papers down violently, scream out "Screw this!" and walk out triumphantly.
  25. Arrange a protest before the exam starts (i.e. Threaten the instructor that whether or not everyone's done, they are all leaving after one hour to go drink).
  26. Show up completely drunk. (Completely drunk means at some point during the exam, you start to hold your mouth and make "I'm about to bring something up" sounds.).
  27. Every now and then, clap twice rapidly. If the instructor asks why, tell him/her in a very derogatory tone, "the light bulb that goes on above my head when I get an idea is hooked up to a clapper. DUH!"
  28. Comment on how sexy the instructor is looking that day.
  29. Come to the exam wearing a black cloak. After about 30 minutes, put on a white mask and start yelling "I'm here, the phantom of the opera" until they drag you away.
  30. Go to an exam for a class you have no clue about, where you know the class is very small, and the instructor would recognize you if you belonged. Claim that you have been to every lecture. Fight for your right to take the exam.
  31. Upon receiving the exam, look it over, while laughing loudly, say "you don't really expect me to waste my time on this drivel? Days of our Lives is on!!!"
  32. Bring a water pistol with you. Nuff said.
  33. From the moment the exam begins, hum the theme to Jeopardy. Ignore the instructor's requests for you to stop. When they finally get you to leave one way or another, begin whistling the theme to the Bridge on the River Kwai.
  34. Start a brawl in the middle of the exam.
  35. If the exam is math/science related, make up the longest proofs you could possibly think of. Get pi and imaginary numbers into most equations.
  36. Come in wearing a full knight's outfit, complete with sword and shield.
  37. Bring a friend to give you a back massage the entire way through the exam. Insist this person is needed, because you have bad circulation.
  38. Bring cheat sheets FROM ANOTHER CLASS (make sure this is obvious... like history notes for a calculus exam... otherwise you're not just failing, you're getting kicked out, too) and staple them to the exam with the comment "Please use the attached notes for references as you see fit."
  39. When you walk in, complain about the heat. Strip.
  40. After you get the exam, call the instructor over, point to any question, ask for the answer. Try to work it out of him/her.
  41. One word: Wrestlemania.
  42. Bring balloons, blow them up, start throwing them around like they do before concerts start.
  43. Try to get people in the room to do the wave.
  44. Play Frisbee with a friend at the other side of the room.
  45. Bring some large, cumbersome, ugly idol. Put it right next to you. Pray to it often. Consider a small sacrifice.
  46. Get deliveries of candy, flowers, balloons, telegrams, etc... sent to you every few minutes throughout the exam.
  47. During the exam, take apart everything around you. Desks, chairs, anything you can reach.
  48. Complete the exam with everything you write being backwards at a 90 degree angle.
  49. Bring a musical instrument with you, play various tunes. If you are asked to stop, say "it helps me think." Bring a copy of the Student Handbook with you, challenging the instructor to find the section on musical instruments during finals. Don't forget to use the phrase "Told you so".
  50. Answer the exam with the "Top Ten Reasons Why My Professor Sucks".

Friday, November 04, 2005

Failure hurts

I should have known it would be one of those days. I took a quick early ride in an attempt to unwind a little before that dreaded CPA exam and got a flat tyre. Things generally just went down hill from there.

Sitting the exam itself was probably the worst experience I've had in the last 10 years or so (that was the last time I failed anything). To suggest my performance was totally pathetic would be an insult to something that was totally pathetic. I am really at a loss to explain exactly what went wrong. After the hours I put in over the last three months or so, I just didn't seem to know anything. It mightn't have been so bad if I hadn't put in any effort, but the state of my apartment right now shows the number of things I've put off so I could dedicate time to this futile endeavour.

It probably didn't help that the exam had by far the worst invigilator that I've ever seen. Note to this person: it's very offputting when people get up and walk around for no readily apparent reason every five minutes, or start whistling for no readily apparent reason (although at least she shut up after the glare that I shot her). However, I suspect I only find this so upsetting because I really can't use it as an excuse for my own abject failure.

I can only hope I misspelt my name on the front cover, at least if they can't identify me, I might save myself some embarrassment. I suppose the one positive is that I won't need to stress too much over the six week wait official results of this test. I already know the outcome. I guess it just means I need to put away another $650 to make another attempt early next year. I really wanted this thing put to bed so I could make other plans.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Been a while...

Not too many updates this week, but that's probably just as well for the 2.3 regular readers of this page. The whole week has basically been all about study for tomorrow's CPA exam, so nothing that's been in my head has been all that interesting. I did, however, sneak off for a quick 55km ride this evening out to the Austinville glow worm colony. It was another beautiful ride out there, as it always is, but I do often wish the dirt section of that road was a little longer. The glow worms obliged with their exotic light show, so I'm happy.

I'm also putting together my riding plans for the rest of the year, now that I'll have more free time during coming weekends. I'd like to get in a few more weekend tours before year end, largely to make sure all of my equipment is in condition for New Zealand in February, but also to explore some of the areas slightly further afield that are too far for a day ride, but not far enough to justify a full long weekend. Minyon Falls near Mullumbimby is a priority, but I need it to keep raining for the next couple of weeks to make that one worthwhile.